This is also a great way to check if the seeds you have are viable. By germinating in paper towel, you eliminate any concerns you might have about soil type or quality.
You don’t need a commercial system either. You still need to purchase seed starting soil for most tray systems. You could add that soil to any of a variety of other “containers” including empty eggshells eggs, paper cups, etc.
You may want to ammend your soil to make sure it has all of the nutrients your seedling will need to thrive. The best way to know what your soil needs is to test it.
While I already mentioned the peat pellet trays above (because they are my favorite), there are a variety of other seed starting trays on the market that can do just as good a job.
2. Use a Paper Towel
We’ve all seen these kits in the store. Typically right next to the seed section you’ll find any of a variety of different seed starting kits. The easiest of these is the peat pellet kit.
These are all excellent questions typically asked by new gardeners. And they are reasonable too. We hear so many vocabulary words thrown at us when we start learning how to grow things that it can all be confusing.
Usually, we are looking at germination to tell us that the seeds we are using are viable. It can take a lot of work to grow flowers and vegetables. Even before the seed is ever planted beds have to be prepped, soil prepared or amended and weeds removed. Then there is seed selection and deciding when to plant.
3. Seed Starting Trays
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After all of that work, what if your plants never grow? How will you know if it was the seed or something else?
biggest thing that kills small sprouts/seedlings is death by drowning, either you cause a situation called "damping off" or you just straight up drown them either way dont over water them, they only need the bottom 1/2 of the soil to be moist so its ok if the top layer gets a bit dried out.
good luck, plant more than one if your using reg seeds (i suggest at least 4) so your not setting yourself up to get let down after 4-5 weeks of growing a plant to find out its a male. if your inside get some decent lights, CFL’s are a bit "cheaper" (not really but you can buy a couple at a time so the up front cost is spread out) than a HID light. inadaquet lighting will also set you up for a let down as you will grow a plant for 12 weeks (minimum maybe more) just to get a gram of 1/2 way smokeable herbs
Germinating before hand will just eliminate your chance of a dead seed not growing. Plus you risk contaminating your seed if you handle the seed and touch its roots when its thats small. I personally have not seen that case but it was something to keep in mind. Always wash your hands before and after you handle.
the biggest thing is to "moisten" the soail not saturate it, and after you moisten it you shouldnt have to add any water for a while (unless you have some really hot/dry conditions that small seedling will never use all that water) at least 2-4 days you want the soil to dry out a bit so the root has to "search" for water towards the bottom of the container
2 small matching plates, fold a paper towel in 1/2 twice (2 folds) dampen paper towel (to make it easier to work with) put seeds in middle and then soak the paper towel, place second plate on top put in a warm spot and within 48 hours you should have some tap roots coming out. i have had a couple seeds take longer than 48 hours but the average is about 24-36 hours. i generally let them sit in the paper towel for ran additional 24 hours after i first see a root, then just take a pen, poke a small hole in the medium and place the seed in the hole and moisten the soil.
It will take longer to sprout is what you mean, not exactly longer to grow. Planting right into soil would be like how nature intended. Add a little heat plus keep it moist and it will be the same as if it were growing in the ground outside almost.
i use the paper towel method
lots of good info and people on this site to use to your advantage just try not to keep asking the same questions a million other people have already asked like "how do i germinate a seed" do a bit of research and when searching go right to the advanced search instead of using the quick search as it yeilds better results.